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A Yale Daily News article explains that a “School of Medicine faculty member has been accused of signing her name to a ghostwritten study” for a report on the antidepressant, Paxil. According to the news article, this is “a practice that many believe amounts to plagiarism and undermines scientific integrity.”

The Yale Daily News goes on to explain that “The nonprofit watchdog Project on Government Oversight (POGO) claims that School of Medicine associate professor Kimberly Yonkers signed her name to work that was not her own in a 2003 report.”  POGO contacted the National Institutes of Health, which funds some of Yonkers’ research, “identifying about four separate cases of alleged ghostwriting,” the Daily News alleges.

According to the article, “One of these was Yonkers’ study, which POGO claims was part of a promotion scheme by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline to increase Paxil sales.” The Yale newspaper explains that Yonkers denied these accusations, saying she was “extensively involved in writing and editing the report.”

Yale reports that Robert Alpern, the School of Medicine Dean, was unaware of this report until recently contacted for interview. According to the Daily News, Alpern said “‘We will examine the situation thoroughly before we make a decision to investigate.’”

However, this latest story from Yale adds to other allegations of dishonesty regarding the marketing of Paxil. A recent Bloomberg article alleges that GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Paxil, failed to report the risk of birth defect to children of mothers taking the drug.

The article further explains that Glaxo has been involved in numerous legal problems regarding their products, including a trial that ended in July with the company agreeing “to pay more than $1 billion to settle 800 cases alleging the company failed to adequately warn consumers and their doctors about the drug’s hazards.”

According to Bloomberg, in total Glaxo “has paid more than $2 billion to resolve litigation over Paxil, including claims the anti-depressant caused suicides in some users and withdrawal symptoms.” According to a lawyer for one of the victims of this product, “Glaxo had research from the 1980s showing Paxil caused deaths among the offspring of animal test subjects and didn’t provide clear warnings about the deaths,” Bloomberg reports.

These allegations regarding the study of Paxil threaten to hurt the company further as it attempts to restore its image and goes to trial. However, these recent allegations might further hurt the company as it attempts to rebound.

To address the ghostwritten study, The Yale Daily News reports that according to Alpern, “the Provost has incorporated the Yale Medical Group’s updated authorship guidelines into the Universitywide policy. Both University and Yale Medical Group policies now explicitly prohibit ghostwriting, which is defined as the ‘practice of being named as an author on an article that contains substantial portions written by someone who is not listed as an author.’”

If you or a loved one has experienced serious side effects, birth defects or health complications with Paxil, contact Newsome Law Firm and fill out a case evaluation form today. Our team of attorneys has experience specific to complications associated with prescription medication. Not only can they give you the legal guidance you need, they can help you get the compensation you deserve.


Feeley, Jef. (November 9, 2010) “Glaxo Failed to Warn About Paxil Risks, Lawyer Says at Philadelphia Trial.” Retrieved on December 14, 2010 from Bloomberg L.P.

Tillman, Traci. (December 3, 2010) “Med prof accused of ghostwriting.” Retrieved on December 14, 2010 from The Yale Daily News.